Eleven lawyers seek seat on Montana Supreme Court

By Chris Rizo | Oct 19, 2009

John Warner

HELENA, Mont. (Legal Newsline)-Eleven lawyers in Montana have applied for the vacancy on the state Supreme Court to be left by retiring Justice John Warner.

Warner, whose current term expires Dec. 31, 2014, is leaving the high court as of the end of the year. He was first appointed to the Supreme Court in May 2003.

Attorneys interested in a post on the state court have submitted their applications to the Judicial Nomination Commission.

The seven-member panel reviews the applications, seeks public comment and interviews the candidates before sending the governor a list of three to five nominees.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer will make his pick from that list. Whomever the Democratic governor picks will take a seat on the court January 2010 and would have to run for election in November 2010 to serve out the remainder of Warner's term.

Thursday was the deadline for attorneys to submit their applications to the nominating panel.

Applying for the soon-to-be vacancy is: Roy Andes of Helena, Carlo Canty of Helena,Brenda Desmond of Missoula, JoAnn "Joey" Jayne of Arlee, David Ortley of Kalispell, Karen Powell of Helena, Peggy Probasco of Butte, Jeffrey Renz of Clinton, John Warren of Dillon, Ronald Waterman of Helena and Mike Wheat of Bozeman.

Four of the applicants have political experience. Wheat lost a bid for state attorney general, while Renz and Waterman have run unsuccessfully for the Supreme Court. Jayne and Wheat are former state lawmakers.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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